Empowering consumers essential to combat illicit trade and counterfeiting, says INTERPOL Chief
World police body unveils I-Checkit tool for enhanced product verification by consumers
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Consumer involvement is vital to law enforcement efforts to protect the public from the dangers posed by illicit and counterfeit goods, the Head of INTERPOL told the 7th Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy.
Secretary General Ronald K. Noble also underlined the need for partnership with the private sector, both in expertise and funding, as INTERPOL ‘must take into account the limited capacities of the majority of governments to increase their financial contributions despite increasing trafficking. At the same time, the private sector, deeply affected by these criminal activities, is ready to participate in our global fight.’
Addressing senior decision-makers from governments, law enforcement, customs and the private sector from some 100 countries, the INTERPOL Chief reminded the Congress that the world police body’s primary concern in fighting illicit trade was to protect human life.
“We invite any government, law enforcement authorities, law abiding entity or citizens concerned with this type of criminal conduct or the rule of law to collaborate with us and our member countries,” added Secretary General Noble, who highlighted the ongoing collaboration with the World Customs Organization which in 2012 alone contributed to the seizure of counterfeit goods worth USD 70 million and some 2,000 arrests worldwide.
Secretary General Noble unveiled a new initiative, INTERPOL-Checkit (I-Checkit), a platform designed to provide consumers with the opportunity to contribute to this fight against illicit trade and, more importantly, protect themselves and their families.
“The idea is simple: allowing an average consumer to screen products against existing global databases on stolen or illicit goods,” said Secretary General Noble. “I-Checkit will provide consumers with the possibility to scan a product using the latest communications technology to verify whether the producer or manufacturer considers it authentic, and whether it is legally on the market and being sold."
Mr Noble also pointed to the anticipated step-by-step development of I-Checkit across diverse product categories, geographical zones and types of information to be delivered. The first step will be the integration of INTERPOL’s existing Stolen Motor Vehicles, Stolen and Lost Travel Documents databases and the future database on luxury goods.